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HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless review: 300 hours of audio bliss

hyperx cloud alpha wireless review 8
HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless Gaming Headset
MSRP $199.00
“The HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless is the best headset for PC gamers, no question.”
Pros
  • Incredible sound quality
  • 300 hours of battery life
  • All-day comfort
  • Rigid design
  • DTS:X spatial audio support
Cons
  • No Bluetooth
  • A little expensive

The HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless is a pipedream headset. It has the same excellent sound quality as the Cloud Alpha — which is among the best gaming headsets — as well as a few small improvements to comfort. Critically, it has 300 hours of battery life, which is an exponential jump for the world of gaming headsets.

I knew I would love the Cloud Alpha Wireless from the moment I unboxed it, and after using it thoroughly, that impression hasn’t changed. This is the headset I’d recommend to most PC gamers, despite some minor issues when it comes to using it away from your desk.

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Design

Someone holding the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless headset.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

If you’ve seen the Cloud Alpha headset, the wireless version should be very familiar. It looks identical, minus a few small changes for comfort (more on that below). It’s a gamer’s headset, no doubt, but it’s not as in your face as Razer’s Kraken V3 thanks to the Cloud Alpha Wireless’ lack of RGB and slimmer overall build.

The headband has a good amount of play, I’m not worried about it wearing out, and the earcups have deep, independent adjustment. The locked braces for the earcups mean you can’t fold them in for traveling, but you probably won’t take the Cloud Alpha Wireless outside your home anyway.

Around the headset, you’ll find a smooth volume wheel on the right, as well as a power button, a mic mute button, a 3.5mm connection, and a USB-C connection on the left. There’s also a small LED indicator that will tell you when the headset is on, as well as when you have the mic muted (although, you can’t see the indicator with the headset on like you can with the Corsair Virtuoso Wireless XT).

You can hook the headset up with a wire if you want to connect it to a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X. The wireless USB dongle is exclusive to PC. That’s all good, but I really miss Bluetooth on the Cloud Alpha Wireless. You may not want to take this headset out for listening to music, but using it for cloud gaming with a tablet or gaming on your phone just isn’t possible with a string of dongles.

Battery life

The Cloud Alpha Wireless headset resting on a purple light.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The Cloud Alpha Wireless is capable of 300 hours of battery life on a single charge, which is insane. Most gaming headsets are in the double digits, with cans like the Logitech G533 needing a charge after 15 hours. It’s a massive accomplishment.

I can’t figure out how HyperX is doing it, though. The lack of RGB certainly helps, as does the automatic power feature that shuts the headset down after 20 minutes of inactivity. I went days with the Cloud Alpha Wireless while still being met with “battery level is at 100%” whenever I turned them on.

I was able to use the headset for two weeks without getting below half battery.

It’s hard to tell if 300 hours is actually what the Cloud Alpha Wireless can achieve, but frankly, I don’t care. What I care about is that I was able to use the headset for two weeks without getting below half battery, and that’s seriously impressive. The only problem here is that you have to charge the headset so infrequently that it doesn’t feel like routine.

Sound quality

HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless headset leaning against a gaming PC.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The Cloud Alpha Wireless sounds incredible. It uses the same 50mm drivers inside the wired version, which features a two-chamber design. Essentially, the drivers isolate the highs, mids, and bass into different chambers, which give the Cloud Alpha Wireless an open sound that never feels like frequencies are fighting each other.

I took the headset for a spin in a bunch of recent games I’ve been playing — Destiny 2, Elden Ringand Darkest Dungeon — and they all sounded excellent. Across them, I always preferred the DTS:X spatial audio to be on. The headset is passable without it, but it feels like you’re not getting the audio experience you could be.

Another constant was heavy bass. The bass is tuned high, giving gunshots in Destiny 2 a nice kick, but also booming a little too heavy with the deep tones of the narrator in Darkest Dungeon. The bass doesn’t drown out other frequencies thanks to the design of the driver, but it’s still a heavy lean. Thankfully, you can counteract that with EQ.

The Cloud Alpha Wireless sounds incredible.

Although the Cloud Alpha Wireless is a gaming headset, I can’t ignore movies and music. DTS Headphone:X spatial audio is great for movies, with has a much more subtle effect than Windows Sonic. The positioning and depth are great, without the strange reverb-y effect that comes with poor spatial audio.

Music is a different matter. You shouldn’t normally use DTS:X when listening to music, but it sometimes sounds much better with the Cloud Alpha Wireless. Low-intensity arrangements, like PJ Morton’s Ready sound fantastic with DTS:X on, much better than with it off. On the other hand, dense arrangements like the scorching Toxin from Vildhjarta sound terrible with DTS:X on. I found myself flipping it on and off depending on what I was listening to, sometimes in the same song.

Software

Ngenuity software for the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless headset.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

HyperX’s Ngenuity software is solid, if unimpressive. For the Cloud Alpha Wireless, you can turn on DTS:X spatial audio, adjust microphone and volume levels, and turn on the EQ. You can create your own presets with the 10-band EQ, too, allowing you to dial in sounds for specific games.

That’s about it. You can adjust when the headset powers off automatically and turn off the voice prompts, but Ngenuity is barebones. That’s not a big issue, though. The Cloud Alpha Wireless is a barebones headset, and Ngenuity just exposes a few simple but critical settings.

Comfort

Two HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless headsets leaning against a PC.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

The HyperX Cloud Alpha is a supremely comfortable gaming headset. The wireless version has a few minor changes, but they collectively make for an even more comfortable experience.

You’ll find the differences in the earcups and headband. The Cloud Alpha Wireless uses a softer memory foam compared to the wired version, which makes the rigid frame feel more forgiving. The softer earcups also lead to better sound isolation, with the previous version feeling like there was a layer of air between your ears and the headset.

The Cloud Alpha Wireless is my new favorite gaming headset.

Frankly, HyperX didn’t need to make any of these changes, and I still would have sung the Cloud Alpha Wireless’ praises. With them, the Cloud Alpha Wireless gets the sound isolation of a headset like the SteelSeries Arctis Pro without massive foam earcups.

It’s a good thing the Cloud Alpha Wireless has 300 hours of battery life because you might actually wear them for that long.

Our take

The Cloud Alpha Wireless is my new favorite gaming headset. The Cloud Alphas were already the cream of the crop, and this version improves that design while overcharging wireless connectivity with 300 hours of battery life.

Are there any alternatives?

Yes, but not any that balance comfort, sound quality, and battery life in quite the same way. For battery life, in particular, the Cloud Alpha Wireless is in a league of its own.

  • $150 Steelseries Arctis 7 — Great sound quality and $50 cheaper, though not quite as comfortable and with much worse battery life.
  • $150 HyperX Cloud II Wireless — HyperX’s own Cloud II Wireless is $50 cheaper at list price and as much as $100 cheaper used, while still offering similar comfort and sound quality. It tops out at 30 hours of battery life, though.

How long will it last?

HyperX sells replacement ear cushions, cables, and microphones, so the Cloud Alpha Wireless could last you 10 years or even more. HyperX has essentially re-released variations of this design for years, and they always hold up. That speaks to the longevity of the Cloud Alpha Wireless.

Should you buy it?

Yes, no question. Unless you need RGB or the fancy trimmings of more premium headsets, the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless is the best wireless gaming headset you can buy.

Jacob Roach
Lead Reporter, PC Hardware
Jacob Roach is the lead reporter for PC hardware at Digital Trends. In addition to covering the latest PC components, from…
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